Thursday, March 3, 2022

AEW Revolution 2022 Preview & Predictions

Holy jeez, what a lineup AEW's put together for this weekend.  For the third time in a row the young wrestling promotion has the chance to deliver their best show to date; Revolution 2022 boasts arguably their strongest-ever on-paper card, with three top matches all-but guaranteed to exceed ****, plus a blazing tag team battle, a heated Women's Title match, and the chance for some big surprises.

First off, Tony Khan now owns Ring of Honor.  Wow.  I'm not sure what the long-term plan is, whether they'll try to keep ROH as a separate promotion (an historically difficult thing to pull off - just ask WWE or Jim Crockett Promotions), or whether they bake ROH's roster into AEW's (maybe even more difficult considering how little TV time there is for AEW's existing roster), or if they'll create a new AEW presents Ring of Honor show that involves a lot of crossover.  Regardless, the vast ROH tape library is in great hands and AEW has the foundation for a stunning streaming service, hopefully on HBO Max.  Being a wrestling fan in the early 2020s just keeps getting more interesting....

Now for the PPV: I don't want to jinx anything, but it's very possible we could see the second-consecutive 10/10 PPV from these guys, a feat I don't think any other wrestling company has ever achieved.  Of the nine matches I could see at least five of them hitting four-star territory, and a few of the others could conceivably get there as well.  Let's dive in, shall we?

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill vs. Tay Conti

Alright, one match I don't see earning a ton of accolades is the TBS Title match.  Yes Jade Cargill has the look and aura of a superstar, but her in-ring still needs a lot of work.  She's improving though, and her last couple TV matches have been decent.  Tay Conti is a solid worker who can hopefully guide Cargill through a strong title defense.  There's no suspense about the result, Jade is retaining here, but I wonder who the company has in store to eventually dethrone the inaugural champ.

Pick: Jade retains

Tornado Trios Match: Andrade El ├Źdolo, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy vs. Sammy Guevara, Sting and Darby Allin

I'd probably have put Sammy vs. Andrade for the title on this show and moved the six-man to a free TV spot, but this should be fun regardless.  The crowd is always excited for Sting and Darby, Sammy always does something noteworthy in his matches, and Andrade is a helluva worker.  Matt Hardy has been teasing the impending debut of his brother for weeks now, so I wonder if that happens here.  I'd be lying if I said I'm super excited about Jeff Hardy joining the company.  Yes he's a major star, but he's been a liability at numerous points throughout his career and I'm not sure how much upside he has at 44.  He'd fit right in with Darby and Sting I suppose - three generations of brooding facepainted characters.  Anyway I think the good guys win here.

Pick: Sammy, Darby and Sting

AEW Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express vs. reDRagon vs. Young Bucks

This match should be off-the-charts wild.  Three great tag teams who can offer fantastic grounded wrestling or big spot wrestling, plus it furthers the Bucks-Dragon storyline which will undoubtedly culminate in Cole, Fish and O'Reilly vs. Omega, Matt and Nick.  Coming out of this match, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus will need a new team to have a proper feud with, but their retaining over two of the best teams in the business certainly makes them look like strong champions.

Pick: JE retain

Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston 

Love the promo work from these two, with Jericho falling back into his arrogant prick heel persona and Kingston continuing to be a relatable cult hero.  Jericho's looking lean and youthful lately so I expect his in-ring pace to be faster than it's been in some time, while Eddie brings the Terry Funk wildman energy.  If I'm booking this I gotta give Eddie the win here, given Jericho's taunts about Eddie not being able to win the big one (ironic considering Jericho himself was in that position 20 years ago).

Pick: Eddie

Face of the Revolution Ladder Match: Keith Lee vs. Wardlow vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks vs. Orange Cassidy vs. (probably) Christian Cage

Originally they said this would be seven guys but with five already qualified and only on qualifier left (likely penciled for Christian Cage), did they cut one guy or are they saving it for a surprise?  Either way, there's a crazy amount of power for a ladder match, between Lee, Wardlow and Hobbs.  That alone should make this stand out from other ladder matches, where it's usually about aerial highspots.  I have to think Wardlow wins this, leading to his long-awaited babyface turn.  The prize at stake is a shot at the TNT Title, which MJF has already claimed Wardlow will turn over to him.  And there's your face turn.  This match should be Wardlow's arrival as a major star. 

Pick: Wardlow

AEW Women's Championship: Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Thunder Rosa

These two had an award-winning match last year and they have the chance to do so again.  It won't be the bloodbath the Lights Out match was, but this should yield some damn good wrestling and will be a great test of their combined ability to put on a great match without bells and whistles.  Rosa holds an unofficial win over Baker and I think Baker evens the score here, especially since she just lost clean in last night's tag match.

Pick: Baker retains

Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley

Here's my prediction for Match of the Night.  Danielson is turning in some of the best work of his entire career lately, while a leaner, cleaner Moxley is highly motivated to overshadow everything he's done before.  I assume this match will in fact lead to their forging an alliance, at least for a little while, but Jesus this should be fantastic.  Moxley has never beaten Danielson, so I think he does just that, earning Danielson's respect.

Pick: Moxley

Dog Collar Match: CM Punk vs. MJF

The other probable show stealer is of course the Dog Collar match.  Punk and MJF are the two best promos in wrestling right now, and their segments all throughout this feud have been absolute gold.  Loved MJF's "babyface" promo last week and Punk's response and the subsequent angle this week.  Since MJF beat Punk the first time I expect Punk to even the score in this match to set up an eventual tiebreaker.  This will be great and bloody.

Pick: CM Punk

AEW Championship: "Hangman" Adam Page vs. Adam Cole

It's Adam vs. Adam!  So many people have complained that Cole hasn't been given the chance to shine since his arrival six months ago.  While it's true he hasn't had the same spotlight he had for so long in NXT, this match should silence those critics.  Page and Cole are both incredible when motivated, and having to follow the previous two matches is as good a motivation as any.  Between this and the inevitable Cole-Omega showdowns we'll see down the road, Adam Cole is going to prove what a remarkable talent he is.  Page will retain the title here and hopefully get a new heated feud to help define his championship reign.

Pick: Adam Page retains

We're in the midst of a wrestling renaissance right now - first All Out, then Full Gear, and now Revolution.  Three consecutive works of pro wrestling art.  Sit back and enjoy it.

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